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Consumer Segmentation

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The idea of consumer segmentation is that, is according to Kotler and Keller (2009) to develop a picture of your consumer by using a variety of "descriptive characteristics"(p. 114). When faced with a diverse population, it is possible to form a segment using the characteristics of that particular group and then examine the different needs and product responses by consumers within that segment. Soft &Tough has developed a new line of male cosmetics the following is three potential segments of the market taken from Kotler and Keller's (2009) table 7.1 "Major Segmentation Variables for Consumer Markets" (115) the company may consider targeting is generational, benefits, and gender.

Kotler and Keller suggest there are extreme differences between generations Baby Boomers for example are a tremendous market existing among the over-50 population. No other generation has been as concerned with looking and acting young as those-now heading towards middle age and beyond who once swore never to trust anyone over 30. Marketers need to keep in mind this distinction between youth and attractiveness as they plan health and beauty advertising to Boomers. Marketing aimed at the Boomers will need to be informative and identify the benefits gained by using the product, according to Roberts and Manolis (2000) "aging boomers prefer information-intensive ads that identify a product's benefits as opposed to image-oriented marketing that often targets younger consumers" (p. 484). However, it was also discovered that using older models did not appeal to the boomers because of their fixation on youth.

Still using Boomers as an example we can also segment according to benefits however the company must first define the benefits of their product and then discover what benefits are most important to that consumer group. For example, the mature consumers according to Moschis (2002) found one benefit very important to them is "ease of use" (p. 523), this particular group prefers anything that maximizes convenience, with this in mind the company would focus on the convenience of the product being both a moisturizer which helps eliminate wrinkles and a sunblock to fend off the UV's that cause them.

The final segment is gender unlike women, men do not tend to stop and try samples of cosmetics they are more circumspect on that issue. We will reach a larger portion of the men's market by attaching samples of the moisturizer to men's shampoos, soaps, and deodorants

In order to create a viable marketing plan for this group the company should discover the needs that apply to the male Boomers however, not simply as an aging market; research has found "age and behavior does not correlate well" (Moschis, 2002, p.520). By using research both existing and new to understand our consumer segment we will better understand the needs of our target consumer and increase the success



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